Class 10 is the year when every single person you meet has something to say about your studies or career. Ranging from all unknown relatives, familiar ones, school friends, friends’ moms and their relatives, some ‘Aunty’ whom we just happened to get acquainted with- everyone starts off with the same question: “Ohhh… So, you are in Class 10! What are you going to choose next year? Science? Commerce?” Yes, that is the question that I dread when I talk to someone. I pray so that they don’t ask that damned question. Why? Because I don’t know the answer, and will not be able to provide them with one. At least, if it is my dad, I can ask him straight on the face what his problem is. If I do the same to the others, I will have to be ready to take that gorgon stare from my mom(who believes that answering in such a way points to bad bringing-up), which I am not ready to.
But here is something very amusing- most others of my class seem to have identified answers for such questions. Or at least they have an answer even if they are not very sure about it, because of the constant bombardment of these standard questions. Out of thirty-five in my class, half of them want to become doctors(one has even specified that she wants to be a gynaecologist!), some of them want to ‘crack IIT’ or want to get into NIT, one wants to become an IAS officer, a few want to become fashion designers(I don’t see any boys in my class wanting that), and there are a few who want to go and work in NASA as an aero-physicist! Well? What do you infer? I might seem to be the only one who really isn't very clear. But thank God! There are some others to give me company...
Many people start advising about how to go about choosing, and all that. They say, “One, identify what your interests are.” As a fact, I am stuck at that very first step. How do you really identify your interest? Forget about those who are exceptionally- exceptionally- good at something like music, art, dance, or even physics, math or any other subject. Their interest would probably be that. But for someone like me, who is not exactly very interested in one particular thing but likes everything without even disliking any- what should we choose- Science? Commerce?
Of the people who talk often, about this, to me, my father tops the list. For one thing, he can convince me either way- to take commerce or science- through how he argues on each side- that is something I don’t like much. It’s very confusing, and irritating. But he says it’s good, and that he is only playing the devil’s advocate.
As far as I understood them all- If I choose Science, then I will have to drop other things. I will have to study real hard to score marks if I am not able to manage both studies and the extra-curriculars(which is bad because all the “Cultural Events” start only from Class 11). Also I can still choose to become a CA or any other professional. All options will be open. But if I choose Commerce I can never come back to the Science stream. That is very clear.
We discussed courses such as Humanities(IIT-M has a course for that) and Law. We weren’t sure whether I had to take Science or Commerce to pursue those. I didn’t actually want to do B.Pharm, which we did discuss about, because I will have to take Biology for that.
At this point, I actually try to understand why my dad took science group when he was in Class 11. His reply is simple. He says: “Back then it wasn't prestigious if you didn't take Science. It was seen as if you couldn't.” Well! That didn't help me solve my little(or big) problem of deciding on what to choose.
Of course, my dear grandma and grandpa believe that I have to take Commerce and become a Chartered Accountant. My mother has already made it very clear that she would love it if I take up Science with Biology and become a doctor. At this point, I have to stop with the story to tell you that I am clear I won’t become a doctor.
But finally, they all tell me one thing that all of them agree upon: Choose anything you want. But whatever you choose, do it sincerely and be in the top.
Now, we come back to the first question: What should I choose? Science or Commerce?
Let us see. Class 11 is not really far off!